Completion of Highway 91 crossing is a milestone for Fremont Pass Recpath project
Officials have reached a milestone in the Fremont Pass Recreational Pathway project with the installation of a new Colorado Highway 91 crossing near Copper Mountain and Climax Mine.
The Fremont Pass Recpath project is a collaborative effort between Summit and Lake counties along with the Climax Molybdenum Co. to create a regional paved pathway connecting path systems in both counties, passing through national forest land and Climax-owned properties over Fremont Pass.
The Summit County segment of the project started construction this past spring and includes a 3.3-mile alignment bypassing a narrow section of Highway 91 between Copper and the northern limit of Climax Mine. The new 270-foot highway crossing provides future recpath users traveling south toward Leadville safe access across the highway.
“Much work remains before we can open this new section of the recpath to the Summit County community, but the new bridge demonstrates just how far this project has come since major planning efforts started nearly a decade ago,” Jason Lederer, Summit County’s open space and trails senior resource specialist, said in a release.
In 2016, former Gov. John Hickenlooper recognized the project as part of the “Colorado the Beautiful” initiative, which identified 16 priority trails, trail segments and trail gaps in Colorado. The Federal Highway Administration awarded Summit County a grant to help fund about 75% of the $5.5 million project, along with providing significant project management, design and permitting support. The project is also being supported by other state and federal grants, along with a donation from local cycling nonprofit Summit Biking.
With the highway crossing complete, the project will be entering a winter shutdown period before restarting next spring. The remaining construction work is scheduled to be completed next year, with the recpath opening to the public sometime next summer.
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